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Guide to Sewing your Own Facemasks

By Stephanie Lam

Putting on a face mask before going outside has become an essential part of our daily lives. However, buying large quantities of disposable and fabric masks can be expensive. A face mask can be made out of any fabric of your choice and can easily be done without a sewing machine. Here is a guide on how to create your own one-of-a-kind mask:

*Guide is adapted from Center for Disease Control

Non-Sewn Mask


  • Cut 20’’x20’’ of washable and breathable fabric

Tip: Consider cutting old cotton shirts or pajamas if you want to use a softer material. Choose a fabric color or pattern that can be styled with any of your outfits. For example a dark blue or black color or a subtle checkered pattern.

  • Hair ties (or rubber bands)

Tip: Check the size of the hair ties before buying them in bulk. A large hair tie, for example, can slip off your ears. Make sure the color of the hair ties matches the fabric as well.

  • Scissors

  • Hot or fabric glue (optional)

Step 1: Fold the cut fabric in half lengthwise. The open ends should be facing towards you.

Step 2: Section the fabric into thirds, fold the top section down and the bottom section up.

Step 3: Put a hair tie on each side end of the fabric and pull them inwards until they are about six inches apart.

Step 4: Fold the open sides over the hair ties. The two ends should meet in the middle.

*At this point, you can now wear your facemask. The two ends will be pressed against your face to keep them from falling. However, this can make it comfortable to talk in as the fabric can slip.

Step 5: (Optional) Once the sides are folded in the middle, take either hot or fabric glue and glue the fabric into place. Wait for it to dry before wearing.

The CDC recommends people wash their face mask in the laundry after 3-4 uses, or until it is visibly dirty and damaged. Wearing a face mask when out in public or in a setting where it is difficult to maintain six feet of distance, will help people reduce the transmission of the virus.

Stephanie Lam is an editorial intern who likes finding unique ways to write about culture, fashion and lifestyle.


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